FAA1.A Background and Introduction : 18 Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)
Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
A streamlined Nutrition Assistance application, verification, and approval process for the elderly.
Policy
The Nutrition Assistance (NA) Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is a demonstration project approved by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The goal is to increase NA participation among the elderly population by streamlining all of the following processes:
Application
Interview
Verification
All participants of the ESAP budgetary unit must meet both of the following:
60 years old or older
No earned or self-employment income
NOTE In-kind is not considered income for ESAP. (See In-kind Income for the definition of in-kind income)
ESAP participants must meet the same eligibility requirements as NA participants who are elderly or have a disability. (See Elderly or Have a Disability - NA Special Considerations for additional information.)
In addition to special considerations for elderly participants, ESAP eligible budgetary units receive all of the following considerations:
A 36-month approval period
A Mid Approval Contact (MAC) is not required
A renewal interview is not required unless one of the following occurs:
Requested by the participant, see Interview Requirements when the participant requests special accommodations
Prior to denying a renewal application
When information provided by the participant or authorized representative is questionable(g) or incomplete
Assigned to Simplified Reporting (See Simplified Reporting for the types of changes that must be reported)
Simpler and shorter ESAP Application (FAA-1821A)
Designated ESAP telephone and FAX numbers for the interview and verification (See FAA Site Code 705C for contact information)
ESAP participants are not eligible for benefits when disqualified for, and not limited to, any of the following:
They are a fleeing felon
They have a disqualifying drug conviction
They have an intentional program violation
For a full list of disqualification reasons, see Disqualified Participants.
ESAP Application
Any official application forms submitted are screened for ESAP eligibility. (See Application Requirements for a list of acceptable applications.) The ESAP Nutrition Assistance Application (FAA-1821A) form is used for ESAP and is only used when applying for NA. When an ESAP participant is applying for other programs, the Application for Benefits (FAA-0001A) or the HEAplus online application must be submitted.
All new applications(g) screened as eligible for ESAP must also be screened for potential eligibility for NA expedited services. (See Requirements for NA Expedited Services (NAX) for NA expedite criteria.) To comply with NA expedite time frames, the Expedited NA – Postponed Verification (F121) notice is sent when authorizing expedited benefits with postponed verification. (For policy and procedures regarding NA expedited services with postponed verification, see NA Expedite Applications With Postponed Verification.)
ESAP Interview Process – New Application
An interview is required for all ESAP new applications. When an ESAP participant is not interviewed on the same day, the ESAP Appointment Notice (X096) is sent.
ESAP participants who do not complete an interview by the deadline provided in the appointment notice are responsible to contact FAA as soon as possible to complete their interview.
When an interview is not completed by the eligibility determination time frame, the application is denied. A new application is not required when an interview is completed by the 30th calendar day after the application is denied.
The ESAP Notice of Missed Interview (X036) is sent when the participant fails to complete an interview by the deadline provided by the X096.
ESAP Interview Process – Renewal Application
The ESAP Notice of Expiration (NOE) is sent when it is time to reapply. (See NA Notice of Expiration for the NOE mail date.)
The ESAP Notice of Expiration (X091) notice includes the ESAP renewal application. The ESAP participant must complete and return the form or any official application to FAA to continue receiving benefits.
FAA reviews the renewal application. An ESAP renewal interview is not required when the information in the application matches the information obtained from system interface. An interview may be required when the information or verification provided by the participant or authorized representative is questionable or discrepant. FAA sends the ESAP Appointment (F046) notice requesting the participant to contact FAA to complete an interview.
FAA does not deny a renewal application without first attempting to schedule an interview unless the ESAP budgetary unit is obviously ineligible based on the information on the renewal application.
ESAP Changes/Conversions
Changes in circumstances may be reported by the budgetary unit, through systems reports or reported by a third-party. For polices on changes, see When to Effect Changes).
Changes in budgetary unit composition, age (turning 60), earned income, or self-employment income may result in one of the following conversions:
From regular NA to ESAP. When the budgetary unit is now eligible for the considerations offered by ESAP, all of the following applies to the budgetary unit:
The budgetary unit retains its approval period
No longer required to complete the MAC
The reporting requirement either remains or changes to simplified reporting
From ESAP to regular NA. When the budgetary unit is no longer eligible for ESAP considerations, all of the following applies to the budgetary unit:
Retains the 36-month approval period
Requires completion of the Mid Approval Contact (MAC) (For additional information, see NA 36-Month Approval Period MAC Requirement.)
The reporting requirement either remains or changes to standard reporting
ESAP Categorical Eligibility
When an ESAP budgetary unit is NA categorically eligible, all participants who are included and eligible to receive NA are categorically eligible. ESAP categorical eligibility includes each of the following household types:
ESAP Basic Categorical Eligibility (ESB) (See Basic Categorical Eligibility on how basic categorical eligibility is determined)
ESAP Expanded Categorical Eligibility (ESE) (See Expanded Categorical Eligibility on how expanded categorical eligibility is determined)
ESAP Regular (ESA)
NOTE NA Categorical Eligibility (Basic or Expanded) does not exist when a participant is disqualified for participation.
Verification
Verification required is determined by the eligibility factor or expense being verified. For the ESAP Demonstration Project, participant statement verification can be used as primary verification for any of the following:
Identity
Income
Shelter expenses
Telephone expense
Utility expenses
Legal Authorities
last revised 06/27/2022